I booked an apartment on March 31, 2013, at Mira Road and part-payment was done between April 30, 2013, and April 22, 2014. Thereafter, the project was delayed and the original 23-storeyed project was reduced to 14 storeys. Since the project was extremely delayed I requested the builder to cancel my booking and refund the money. There was no response for many years. I then filed a complaint against him before MahaRERA. On May 9, 2022, the first hearing was held, but there was no progress after that. I am a senior citizen staying in a rented house. What is the way out for me?
Syed Hasan Ahmed, Bhayander
It looks like you are aggrieved by the delay caused at MahaRERA in hearing your complaint, as it is not listed for hearing since May 2022. Though this can be due to the huge pendency of the complaints, as per the time frame prescribed under the RERA Act, this amounts to inordinate delay. The complaint will be listed for hearing taking into account the pendency and seniority.
In the meantime, you may request MahaRERA to send your grievance for conciliation. There is good possibility that your grievance may get resolved during conciliation and you need not continue with this time-consuming legal battle. In case of successful conciliation, the consent terms are filed and sent to MahaRERA Authority, who then passes an order. Also, in such case, there is no provision for appeal. Since conciliation is a time-bound process, your grievance can get resolved faster.
I had filed a complaint in May 2018 before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for getting possession of my flat along with compensation for the delay. The complaint was admitted in the second week of June 2018, but thereafter, the complaint has not coming up for hearing. I feel if I approach MahaRERA, disposal of my complaint will be faster. Can I withdraw my complaint now and file before MahaRERA?
Kiran Advani, Nashik
You have prayed for compensation for the delayed period, which squarely falls under Section 18 (1)(b) of RERA. This section provides for the interest for every month of delay till handing over of the possession. Section 71 of RERA has provided that any person whose complaint in respect of matters covered under Sections 12, 14, 18 and 19 is pending before any consumer disputes redressal commission (district / state/ national) on or before the commencement of this Act may, with the permission of such commission, withdraw the complaint pending before it and file an application before the adjudicating officer under this Act.
Thus, considering these provisions, it is clear that only those complaints pending before the consumer disputes redressal commission (district / state/ national) on or before the commencement of MahaRERA, (May 1, 2017) are given liberty to withdraw the complaint and file an application before the adjudicating officer.
Since you have filed the case before the consumer disputes redressal forum in May 2018, you cannot withdraw it and file a fresh complaint before MahaRERA. Now you will have to continue with the consumer disputes redressal commission only.
After the Covid pandemic, I am getting exorbitant electricity bills at home. I complained with the local office of MSEDCL, but they did not pay any attention. Whom and where can I approach to resolve my complaint?
Vishvanath Talekar, Karjat
You can lodge a complaint on online (firstname.lastname@example.org) by creating a login or on toll-free number or by SMS (022-26478989, 022-26478899) or you may file a physical application at the nearest office of Mahavitaran. You will have to submit scanned copies of relevant documents along with your complaint. Here, the complaint is automatically sent to the relevant department. On receiving such complaint, the department has to provide remedy and close it. In case your complaint is not registered here or you are not satisfied with the solution provided, you can approach Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF). The Electricity Act, 2003, has provided for consumer grievance redressal mechanism and establishment of CGRF, especially to solve the complaints pertaining to connection/disconnection / bill-related issues, etc.
Since you are staying at Karjat, you will have to approach CGRF at Kalyan. The details of the same are: Address: Tejashree, Jehangir Maidan, Karnik Road, Kalyan- 421301. Phone: 0251-2210707/ 2328283. E-mail: email@example.com
(Dr Archana Sabnis is an expert on consumer laws who is practising at consumer disputes redressal fora at district, state and national levels since 2000. She is on the panel of conciliators of MahaRERA and is associated with the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.)
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